Arsenal are not giving up on their Champions League quest quite yet, as they kept the pressure on Liverpool with a comfortable 2-0 win over Sunderland at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
Alexis Sanchez eventually came to Arsenal’s aid late on, with his brace finally breaking down a stubborn Sunderland side, who of course have already been relegated.
Arsene Wenger’s side will now head in to their final game of the season at home to Everton, knowing that they are still very much in with a chance of still finishing in that top four. But only if they can better Liverpool’s result against Middlesbrough.
Here are the player ratings from, in the end, a straight forward night for the Gunners…
Goalkeeper and Defence:
Petr Cech – 7 – Fairly comfortable all evening for Cech. Though was called to make a few important saves in the first half. Other than that, he was largely a spectator.
Rob Holding – 7 – Extremely impressive once again. The young defender seems to be growing in confidence as each week goes on. Very controlled and composed when on the ball all evening.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7 – Another commanding performance from the German international, as he started in the heart of the back three, in place of the injured Laurent Koscielny. Dealt with any real threat that Jermaine Defoe offered for Sunderland.
Nacho Monreal – 6 – Slipped back in to the back three through Koscielny’s injury. Didn’t really have much to do defensively, though almost gifted Sunderland the lead with a dodgy pass back to Cech.
Hector Bellerin – 7 – A real threat all evening in that right wing-back position. Always offered Arsenal something when coming forward. Looks to be on his way to being back to his best.
Kieran Gibbs – 6 – Got forward quite a bit, like Bellerin, though his final delivery when in the final third was rather disappointing. Wasn’t really needed in defensive duties throughout the evening.
Granit Xhaka – 8- Pretty much ran that midfield the whole evening. Passing was immaculate during the ninety minutes. Fantastic pass to get Mesut Ozil in behind the Sunderland defence for the first goal.
Aaron Ramsey – 6 – Wasn’t the Welshman’s most productive night, though still found himself popping up in good positions. Night was cut short towards the end though through injury.
Mesut Ozil – 8 – Much more like it from the German, as just like at Stoke at the weekend, Ozil was in the thick of everything on an attacking sense for the Gunners. Brilliant assist for Sanchez’s first goal.
Alexis Sanchez – 8 – Arsenal’s go to man once more. Two vital goals to keep Arsenal’s season alive, which takes him within one of the golden boot. Always was looking to make an impact in the game. Was in the right place at the right time for both goals.
Olivier Giroud – 6 – Not the Frenchman’s best night. Was thwarted several times by the brilliant Jordan Pickford in the Sunderland goal. Though could not fault his effort and work rate for the team.
Danny Welbeck – 6 – Came on with around twenty or so minutes remaining in place of the injured Ramsey. Offered something different for the Gunners going forward.
Alex Iwobi – 6 – Replaced Gibbs at the same time of Welbeck’s arrival. Looked lively when on the ball. First thought was always drive forward with the ball.
Theo Walcott – n/a – Was introduced in the final few moments of the game in place of Giroud. Had a great chance in injury time. Apart from that didn’t really have enough time to make an impact.